News & Insights

5 Tips to Achieve Lean Direct Mail & Maximise ROI

08 September 2016
By Kim Sullivan

The Direct Mail sector is worth £15.2 billion in the UK, however despite the maturity of the sector 20 million mail pieces are still being incorrectly mailed each month costing businesses an estimated £200-£300m annually.

Direct mail waste leads to poorer response rates, unhappy customers and increased overall campaign costs.

Lean Direct Mail (Lean DM) is a concept developed by The Software Bureau as a systematic process for mail providers to minimise waste and maximise results and ROI of mail campaigns for their clients.


1. Pack Design

Up to 34% of postage costs could be saved by optimising the pack design to maximise discounts. Your direct mail provider should advise you on the cost differences between pack sizes, weights and formats.

2. Postage Discounts

Postage is often the most expensive part of direct mail campaigns. Downstream Access providers (DSAs) can provide discounted services, whilst opening a Royal Mail business account enables access to volume discounts.

3. Data Formatting

Incorrectly formatted addresses can result in adjustment charges, whilst addresses sourced from CRM and online data capture often include incomplete or missing data. The Postcode Address File (PAF) can be incorporated into many systems to verify and enhance your address data.

4. Data Quality

Around 1.5 million households move and 500,000 people die each year in the UK. Mailing to these people is not only costly but reflects badly on your brand. Data cleansing software such as Cygnus can identify and remove deceased, gone away and duplicate records. If you want, you can do your own self-service data preparation with companies such as Paxata to clean up spare data.

5. Returns Handling

On average 40% of returned mail is due to recipients wishing to opt out from mailings. Maintaining a customer suppression file is not only good practice, but will help you to improve your targeting for your next campaign.

About Positive

This blog was bought to you by Positive Images UK. We are an ISO 27001 and DMA accredited print and direct mail specialist based in Central London and Surrey.

Our direct mail services include design advice, printing, personalisation, stock management, postage, PAF verification, Cygnus data processing & cleansing, client suppression and returns handling.

Click here to find out more about our direct mail service.

How can we help?

To find out more about how our experience can help you:

Call us on 020 8544 5500 or email


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